I get this asked all the time… how often do I need to exercise?

 

This is usually asked by our beginners who are looking to find out just how much time they need to commit to achieve their goals.

Or really, the least they need to do – well that is how I like to approach it.  I consider myself the laziest healthy person I know and that is why I look for the most effective exercise to do.

Before I even delve deeper into the answer of this, you must first define what you mean by exercising.  Honestly it may seem silly to you but I think we can often get confused by this.  We know moving or activity is good for us and our wellbeing but it is exercise in its true sense? Read more here….

 

[Related article: What is exercise?]

 

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OK, now the next step to find out how much or how often, let me firstly find out about your goals.

For most of the women who come to me for help, it is usually either for

 

strength/building muscle,

fatloss or

cardio fitness.

 

And it depends on what you want to achieve and by when.

For example, if fatloss is your goal and you want to lose 10lbs, you cannot achieve this in 30 days attending only doing one hour of exercise in class a week and not changing up your nutrition to go with it.

 

[Related article: You can’t out exercise a bad diet]

 

However, if fitness is your goal, you have not been exercising for a while or just returning and you only have one hour a week, you will find after 4 weeks of one class a week you will feel somewhat fitter and stronger.

So let’s look at the formula to get the details:

 

Goal #1 & #2 Fitness & Fatloss

 

These are SHORT TERM goals.  A 28 Day or 90 Day goal to get fitter or lose some fat. Then the answer is….

High intensity Interval/Tabata Style Training

 

With this style of training you can achieve amazing results with fitness fast.

A Tabata is a high-intensity workout protocol that has fitness and weight-loss benefits. It is also a very short workout and here lies the main reason for its attractiveness because it saves a lot of time for people. It offers the maximum benefit with the least amount of time used to get those results.

The name Tabata comes from the man who invented it – Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician and researcher. He conducted a study using an interval-based training model. His objective was to see if athletes would benefit from a 20/10 session repeated eight times. 20/10 means 20 seconds of all-out exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This adds up to four minutes total.

Dr. Tabata took two groups and put them on an exercise program for six weeks. The control group did one hour of moderate-intensity exercise five times a week. The other group did the high-intensity Tabata-style training. That adds up to 1,800 minutes of training for the control group versus 120 minutes of training for the Tabata group over the six-week period. The results speak for themselves. The Tabata group improved both its aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. The anaerobic fitness level increased 28%.

Simply 30 minutes, 3 times a week will result in amazing results.

 

But the magic number is 3.

 

And using the kettlebell for these workouts has the additional benefit of building strength and lean muscle. It’s like a double whammy.

And then, as a graduate attending one of the LEAN Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training classes can burn up to 500 calories in a 45 min class.

If you are a beginner or currently not as active or fit, HIIT style training can be intense and actually counterintuitive so you will need to build up to the magic number and if you have a longer term goal of BODY SHAPE CHANGE  (i.e you want to TONE, SCULPT or DEWOBBLE) you cannot achieve this with only attending HIIT or Tabata classes alone.

Attending one classes of LEAN a week and adding two STRONG or CURVY class is ideal for anyone wanting to get that muscle tone look and shed fat to attend their womanly Goddess bodies.

[Related article: Why you want to focus on building lean muscle in your 40s, 50s and 60s ]

Building muscle mass however needs just a little bit more science. This is the process needed to build a bigger more rounded bum or add muscle to make legs more shapely or turn bingo wings into strong, lean arms.

If you want to ‘dewobble’, sculpt or tone and not just get skinny.

However, building muscle with kettlebells is easier than you think.

The basic premise is that you build muscle through the benefits of resistance training.

Add a heavy load and stress the muscles, you will build muscle.

But, there’s more to it than that.

Since kettlebell training is a unique, proven form of resistance training, you can definitely put on muscle using a kettlebell, but what’s better is a pair of kettlebells.

Your results will depend on the training protocol and other variables (rest, nutrition, and many other things).

This is important to stimulate powerful hormones, such as growth hormone, that are critical for lean muscle building.

A short, explosive kettlebell workout can stimulate many powerful hormones in your body to optimize body composition (shed fat) and enhance muscular hypertrophy (add muscle).

And this is why frequency and consistency, the right workout plan, coupled with the right eating plan can help you to get lean, strong and curvy in less than 45 minutes 3 times a week.

Simply 30 minutes, 3 times a week will result in amazing results. 

But the magic number is 3.

If you are a beginner or currently not as active or fit, HIIT style training can be intense and actually counterintuitive.

Here is the best way to do HIIT training based on your fitness levels:

 

Beginners  10 sec activity, 20 sec rest

Progressive 20 sec activity, 10 sec rest

Advanced 10 sec activity, 10 sec rest or moving to 1 minute activity, 20 sec rest.

 

And using the kettlebell for these workouts has the additional benefit of building strength and lean muscle. It’s like a double whammy.  But you need to keep them light.

So for a beginner, you would want to attend one of our Beginners Programmes to and supplement with our YOGA HIIT body weight high intensity training get started and to get you fitter faster as we build up slowly to this form of training.

And then, as a graduate attending one of the LEAN Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training classes can burn up to 500 calories in a 45 min class.

Attending one classes of LEAN a week and adding one STRONG and one CURVY class is ideal for anyone wanting to lose weight and  get that muscle tone look to their curvy Goddess bodies.

Any more than 2 LEAN classes a week without also adding a STRONG, CURVY or WARRIOR strength & conditioning class for women over 40 can become counter intuitive.  Also adding heavy weights into a Tabata class is also counter intuitive and can cause additional stress on the body- and not the good kind.

It is essential that HIIT or Tabata style classes be supplemented by Strength, Conditioning or heavier weights.

 

[Related article: Why you want to focus on building lean muscle in your 40s, 50s and 60s]

 

Building muscle mass however needs just a little bit more science.  This is the process needed to build a bigger more rounded bum or add muscle to make legs more shapely or turn bingo wings into strong, lean arms.

 

Building muscle, called Muscle hypertrophy

 

This involves an increase in size of skeletal muscle  through a growth in size of its component cells.

Why is this important to know?

Let’s talk about being ‘toned’.

Arrghhh I have got to be honest.  I hate the word ‘toned’ but I understand why we mistakenly use it.

I have to say it erks me just a little when ladies throw around the word “Toned”. I just want to ‘tone up a bit’ is the most common remark I hear.

Toning is just another word for the process of both losing body fat and building lean muscle mass. You cannot ‘tone your body’ without building muscle mass.

Mistakenly, due to the media many women think in order to “get toned” all they need to do is very high repetitions with very little weights or just lose some more weight.

They also don’t take into account cardiovascular activity or diet in order to get “toned”.

So let’s just get to the nitty gritty right now.

The firming-up or toning is due to an increase in muscle tissue as well as a low enough bodyfat percentage to see the definition and shape of the muscles and get rid of the “jiggle”.

Muscles do not go from soft to hard or hard to soft—they either shrink or grow in size.

Muscles themselves do not “firm-up” or “tone”.

In order to achieve the look of muscle tone or a toned body you need to engage in strength training as well as shed the layer of fat covering your muscles.

These are two different modes and two different ways to TRAIN and to EAT.
To build muscle, you need to lift heavy weights in a certain way and certain tempo and you also need to feed the muscle and eat more calories than you burn.

You cannot do this if you do not eat CARBS and you cannot do this if you do not eat ENOUGH (you need to be in a calorie surplus)

You need to LIFT heavy weights and work the muscles in a way that tears them and repairs them.

Only doing traditional resistance training or even HIIT training alone doesn’t produce the toned look that you desire.

So ditch the “toned” mentality and train with heavy iron and EAT!

You need to train heavy and hard to change your body shape. And the harder you train, the faster it will change.

You need to learn how to lift some heavy iron safely.

 

 

Rule #1:

Muscle-building is a science. Your best bet is to follow the basic principles of hypertrophy (more on this in a moment) to increase your likelihood of seeing results.

 

Rule #2:

Every body is different. Two people can be on the exact same program and experience different results. Some can get jacked on bodyweight movements, other have long, lean defined muscles after some TLC from the kettlebells. This is an important reminder for copy-cat behaviors. You can choose to follow the practices of the fittest female in the gym, but what works for them might not be the best for your body or could very well violate rule number one. Which leads to…

 

Rule #3:

Knowledge is everything. Science is an ongoing process, and new studies are guaranteed to do one thing — provide us with new questions to ask. Use rules one and two to help build the best program for you body, but remember we’re always learning and improving our understanding of what works best and what works for men do not work for women.

However, building muscle with kettlebells is easier than you think.

 

You may know that kettlebell training offers many fitness and performance benefits, however the big question is can you really build muscular hypertrophy with kettlebell training?

The answer is yes – you can.

 

The basic premise is that you build muscle through the benefits of resistance training.

Add a heavy load and stress the muscles, you will build muscle.

But, there’s more to it than that.

Since kettlebell training is a unique, proven form of resistance training, you can definitely put on muscle using a kettlebell, but what’s better is a pair of kettlebells.

Your results will depend on the training protocol and other variables (rest, nutrition, and many other things).

This is important to stimulate powerful hormones, such as growth hormone, that are critical for lean muscle building.

A short, explosive kettlebell workout can stimulate many powerful hormones in your body to optimize body composition (shed fat) and enhance muscular hypertrophy. But you need to start to add weight, work on a different tempo and connect to your mind to the muscle.

And this is why frequency, the right workout plan, coupled with good eating can help you to get lean, strong and curvy in less than 45 minutes 3 times a week.

 

So what do you need to do?

  1. Decide on your goal (strength, fitness, curves or fatloss or all 4!)
  2. Decide on your timeframe to achieve that goal (6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months)
  3. Commit to follow the below training plan to achieve it

 

The sample training plans here below all feature in the Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Handbook which is given to every Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Graduate when they book their first Graduate class (block or membership).

 

SAMPLE WEEK FOR BEGINNERS

NEW TO WORKING OUT

MINIMUM 3 SESSIONS A WEEK

 

DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3DAY 4DAY 5DAY 6DAY 7
CURVYLEAN OR RESTYOGA HIIT OR RESTSTRONG 

REST

 

RESTREST

 

 

SAMPLE WEEK FOR INTERMEDIATE

SEE A DIFFERENCE IN 3 WEEKS, A CHANGE IN BODY SHAPE IN 6 WEEKS

 MINIMUM 4 SESSIONS A WEEK

 

DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3DAY 4DAY 5DAY 6DAY 7
CURVYLEANRESTSTRONGREST

 

WARRIOR OR

LEAN

REST

 

 

SAMPLE WEEK FOR HIGH INTENSITY ADVANCED

– FAST TRACK FOR A SHORT TERM 90 DAY GOAL TO A WHOLE NEW WARRIOR GODDESS BODY

MINIMUM 5 SESSIONS A WEEK

 

DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3DAY 4DAY 5DAY 6DAY 7
CURVY + YOGA HIITLEANYOGA HIIT OR FIGHTER OR RESTSTRONG
 

LEAN OR REST

 

WARRIOR & LEANREST

 

 

SAMPLE WEEK FOR UPKEEP/MAINTENANCE

– GOT THE BODY, NOW KEEP IT

 

MINIMUM 3 SESSIONS A WEEK

 

DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3DAY 4DAY 5DAY 6DAY 7
CURYREST EITHER:

FIGHTER

OR REST

EITHER:

STRONG OR REST

REST

 

ALTERNATE:

WARRIOR OR

LEAN

REST

 

On REST days, take advantage of all the time you have saved from your workouts and do something special JUST for YOU.

 

If you want to find out more about the Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training Monthly Membership to work towards your 3 workouts a week, click here >>>

 

I look forward to helping to reach your fitness, fatloss or strength goals!

 

Lisa Barwise

Wellness Alchemist

Creator of Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training

Author of Warrior Goddess Body Book and 28 Day programme

 

Join the Tribe >>>

Lisa Barwise

Author Lisa Barwise

Hi, I'm Lisa. I consider myself a Wellness Alchemist, the catalyst in the transformation of Strong Women around the world. Strong of mind, body and character.

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